Archive for September, 2010

Most of the time when a couple first contacts Casual Elegance Photography®about doing a photo shoot together as a couple, they have not quite decided how “daring” they plan to be with their photographs. They simply know that they want something beyond the standard couples portrait – they are looking for something more romantic, more intimate, and with more spice!

Most clients arrive with at least a couple of specific shots in mind that they want to do.   Something they have seen on my website, or one that is particularly significant to them.  I start off the photoshoot by doing those shots for them, and I do more in terms of “directing” – since they are trying to achieve a specific look or a specific pose.  After we’ve finished those shots, if they want me to stay that involved in creating their poses, I do.

Most couple are a bit nervous at first. But after they see the shots we are getting they tend to relax. I’ve had couples say they actually forgot that they were in the studio.

There are times though, when my couples photoshoot clients prefer a more laid back shooting style.  And that’s ok too!   My shoots are pretty laid back anyway!  But while a boudoir or glamour shoot is all about getting glammed up and creating a definite look, which sometimes can require more direction as to the various poses, facial expressions, etc, the couples shoot is about capturing the true essence of their relationship.  

I find that couples really relax when they get into the shoot and see that I am willing to let them take the lead, unless they ask for my input.  I’m always happy to help with ideas of how to create a certain look, or a lighting change that can really add to their photograph.  But basically I feel that in a couples photoshoot my purpose is simply to capture their moments.  Not to try to create them.  For example, if a man is going to kiss a woman’s neck – I don’t really think I need to tell him how to do it!  In that instance, too much direction from me could steal their moment.   I prefer to “fade” into the background, and simply compose the shot and shoot, so that all they are hearing is the click of the shutter, not “bend your head a little to the right – great, now lift her chin a little…”  You get the idea!  In couples photography less is definitely more!  The less “involved” I am in the process, the more relaxed and natural their photographs.   Giving couples the “creative control” over the shoot also allows them to decide where they want the shoot to go – and I just go with the flow!   Knowing they can always just give the reins back to me allows them let their hair down and just have fun with the shoot.

Once again comes the question – do you have to be nude?  Absolutely not!  You decide how revealing you want your photographs to be!  Generally when couples come to me for other than the standard couples portrait, they intend for their photographs to be at least partially nude.  Sometimes she wants to be nude, and he wants to be clothed or just bare chested – that’s great!  If you both want to be just topless, that’s fine too.  These are your photographs.  Many of our couples have done completely nude photographs in poses that left everything to the imagination – except for the fact that the viewer knows they are nude.  A simple lighting adjustment or change in the position of an arm or leg can place shadows wherever you want them to be!  Some of the most fabulous art nude portraits I’ve done for clients to hang in their homes showed nothing more than the symmetry of the lines of their bodies. Other couples want to show everything – they want to capture the intimate nature of their relationship. But again, it’s totally up to the couple.

If you’ve come so far as to read this entry, you’ve probably at least considered doing a couples photoshoot.  This brings me once again to this statement – your photographs will absolutely never  be used on my website unless you ask me to use them and give me your specific, written permission.  Nor are your photographs ever sold to anyone except you.   My respect for my clients’ privacy is well known, and is one of the reasons my clients happily refer their friends to Casual Elegance Photography®. 

I can only tell you that without exception my couples clients have said that once they got up the nerve to just go for it, and scheduled a photoshoot with me, they had an absolute blast doing their photographs, and not one regret later! Many come back for more sessions and I get many referrals from couples who have experienced my Couples Photo Sessions.
Casual Elegance Photography

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Well, as I have said before, this is a feast or famine business. Today I booked a fourth Maternity Photo session this week. Business comes in waves it seems. This time it’s maternity sessions.

I really enjoy these shoots. It’s wonderful to watch the happy couple interact and to see the beautiful images we capture. Many choose to do full nudes while others choose to just show the belly. I have found that most choose to have at least some of the images done in Black & White rather than color. For B&W we have two options – first we can shoot B&W directly in the camera, or second, we can change a color photo to B&W in post production. Either way they are always a work of art in my opinion.

Some clients bring in props such as tiny shoes in either blue or pink. Other clients don’t really care for the props and just want to express the beauty that is part of this wonderful time. I’ve even had a client bring in a 3D ultrasound photo, which I copied and superimposed it on their belly in post production. Really cool looking!!!

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for your maternity photos, and do plan to do them. You won’t regret it.


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On Friday Lisa (http://www.byface2face.com) and I had the pleasure of shooting at a Cosmetic Dentistry practice. The images will be used in their new website design. We met a bunch of great people there and it seemed like everyone had a wonderful time. Other than one strobe failure (I was glad I had a backup), everything went like clockwork. While Lisa and I set up, the “stars” arrived. As quickly as Lisa got the makeup done on each, I starting shooting headshots. It was non-stop for 4+ hours but I managed to shoot over 350 frames netting about 325 or so images to select the finals from. I think one of the things that made it work so well was that I was shooting directly to my MacBook laptop and we were able to see every shot large enough to decide if we had “the” shot the doctor wanted for the site.

In every shoot I think I learn something. This time I learned that non-glare/non-reflective lenses in glasses don’t always do as they should. On one person’s glasses no matter how I turned them, they always had some reflection, yet on another pair of glasses there were no reflections. Go figure…

All in all the shoot was fun. The clients, the staff and the doctors were a joy to work with. We had a good time, got great shots, and everyone enjoyed the shoot.

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